In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country.In 1974, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy.Contemporary Greek culture and traditions are very rich and diverse, reflecting Greece’s location at the crossing point where the West meets the East and the country’s great and turbulent history.The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years - dating from the Paleolithic era and the birth of the great Minoan, (2600-1500 BC), Mycenaean (1500-1150 BC) and Cycladic civilizations through the Classical Period (6th - 4th centuries BC) - the Golden Age, reaching great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, expressed in architecture, drama, science and philosophy, and nurtured in Athens under a democratic environment, through the sequence of invasions and domination: by the Macedonians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire and the 400 years of Ottoman rule.Younger people are not as devout church-goers as their parents and grandparents, yet most will still turn to the church for holidays or for important rituals such as weddings and funerals.Despite the fast moving processes of Europeanization and globalization, Greece remains a profoundly religious country.The family offers both financial and emotional support to its members and family relationships carry over into business with nepotism largely seen as something acceptable.
Interestingly, the National Statistical Service of Greece considers all people who live under the same roof to be members of the family, regardless of whether they are related.
Greeks define their natural and ethnic belonging through their culture and tradition.
Anyone who has seen the movie “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” knows this.
During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, Greece saw monarchies and ousting of royalty, fierce political fights, assassinations, and dictatorships, wars that added neighboring territories and new population, but also brought economic devastation and poverty.
After the defeat of Germany and the end of World War II, Greece joined NATO in 1952 and experienced a bitter civil war between communist and anticommunist forces.